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De Villota Crashes During Test Drive

Formula One driver Maria De Villota was hospitalized with severe injuries after a crash.

July 4, 2012– Maria De Villota, a test driver of Formula 1 from Spain, was hospitalized with head and facial injuries Tuesday following the crash of her Marussia car. Her car hit a truck parked at an airfield in England.

The team from Russian said the 32-year old, who was operating a MR-01 car for just the first time, had completed a first run at Duxford when she crashed around 8:10 GMT.

The team said that De Villota was conscious and doctors were examining her. She is being treated at Addenbrookes hospital outside Cambridge, which is the major trauma center in the region. A spokesman for the ambulance service that transported De Villota said she had sustained injuries that were considered life threatening.

One witness at the scene of the accident said the car made an unexplained acceleration into the rear of the support truck for the team. The eyewitness said the driver’s helmet had impacted on the side of the parked truck. Other witnesses said the car had slowed down as if it were to be reversed into the pits and suddenly accelerated and was going about 30 to 40 mph when it impacted the truck.

De Villota was trapped inside the car for quite some time, but emergency services were able to attend to her immediately. She was motionless for the first 10 to 15 minutes then witnesses said she mover her hands. She was not extracted from the car for nearly an hour.

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